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The False Claims Act as a Tool for Enforcement of the Customs Laws

May 20, 2015 — Tycko & Zavareei LLP partner Jonathan Tycko was one of the featured panel members today on a webcast titled “The False Claims Act as a Tool for Enforcement of the Customs Laws.”  Mr. Tycko spoke about how whistleblowers with information about importers evading customs duties can help the government enforce the customs laws by bringing qui tam lawsuits under the False Claims Act.  He discussed common types of customs law evasions, including misrepresenting country of origin to evade antidumping and countervailing duties, misclassification and undervaluation of imported goods, and violations of country-of-origin marking requirements.  He also reviewed recent examples of cases that were brought by whistleblowers that resulted in multi-million dollar recoveries for the government, and substantial monetary rewards for the whistleblowers.  “When companies fail to pay customs duties, they not only violate the law, but they cheat their competitors and the American taxpayers,” said Mr. Tycko.  He added that, “whistleblower with information about evasion of customs duties can play an important role in righting this wrong, and they also can earn very substantial rewards, by bringing information to the attention of the government by way of qui tam lawsuits under the False Claims Act.”   The webcast was hosted by The Knowledge Group, which, according to its website, “was established in 2005 with the mission to produce unbiased, objective, and educational live webcasts that examine industry trends and regulatory changes from a variety of different perspectives.”